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Las Vegas's 1st nude showgirl Lisa Medford on her time with gangsters, Cary Grant and call girls

By FnF Desk | PUBLISHED: 04, Jun 2012, 19:35 pm IST | UPDATED: 04, Jun 2012, 19:43 pm IST

Las Vegas's 1st nude showgirl Lisa Medford on her time with gangsters, Cary Grant and call girls Las Vegas: Though she may be far from the Las Vegas strip now, one retired showgirl revels in her memories of her time on the stage.

Lisa Medford claims to be the first nearly naked showgirl in Sin City history, saying that as a mere 19-year-old she made her mark by showing up on stage as a 'nude' statue with only glitter and duct tape covering her 'prized real estate'.

Now, at age 74, Ms Medford lives in an elderly community in the suburbs of the city where she made her name, but she still enjoys looking back to her past exploits for a bit of entertainment.

Ms Medford told The Los Angeles Times how her first run-ins with celebrities came at a very early age, though those boldface names were more infamous than famous.

Her clothing manufacturer father was friendly with mobster Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel, and she immediately felt comfortable being around powerful men.

She often let 'Uncle Benjamin', as he was so called, braid her hair when he came to the family home to play poker.

She then wanted to show off more than her locks when she took up an offer to play a 'nude' statue in the singer Harry Belafonte's show at the Riviera casino. Wearing only glitter, she was told to stay still in let her beauty shine.

Instead, she set the crowd on fire after she shifted her arms to bare her breasts.Another famous friend was the actor Cary Grant, who propositioned her and asked her to have his child.

After thinking about it, the self-proclaimed 'naive' teenager with 'a big nose, pimples, kinky hair and a unibrow' decided against it.

'I spent nights crying, thinking "What if I had Cary Grant's baby?"' she told The LA Times. 'Would my parents really disown me? But I didn't want kids. He was basically gay, and I wasn't in love with him.'

Instead, her career floated along like a feather on one of the enormous Folies Bergere costumes she went on to wear.

She left Vegas to travel around Europe, where she told the Las Vegas Sun she was grazed in the arm by a bullet while photographing the Russian occupation of Prague in 1968.

When she returned to the U.S., she moved to California where she raced stock cars, worked as a loan officers, sold marijuana and used her showgirl credentials to land bit parts in television shows.

'I have the retention span of a rhesus monkey. Maybe it's because my grandparents were first cousins,' she said.

Her move back to Nevada came with a foray into the truly risqué, as she took a job as a chauffeur for call girls, and later a driver for wealthy visitors looking for a true insider's tour of the gambling capital of the world.

'I have no morals but high principles,' she said in summary. She partnered with a friend to write her autobiography in 2010, which she titled I Can Hear The Applause: Adult Language...Some Nudity.

Aside from her stories and the life-sized cardboard cut-out she has of her 19-year-old self, her still-lithe body gives neighbors an idea of the woman she was before.

'She was wearing the shortest shorts, enough to make Daisy Duke blush,' neighbor and co-author Jeanne Gulbranson  said of a time that she saw Ms Medford changing a light bulb outside of her house.

'This is an age-restricted community. How did those legs get in here?' Ms Gulbranson joked.
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